Sunday, August 12, 2012

Breaking News: Joe Kubert Dead at 85

In recent years we've seen a lot of the great comic creators from the golden age pass into legend, but today's news hits particularly hard, as multiple sources are reporting that Joe Kubert has passed away.

He was 85.

Trying to sum up the career of Kubert is basically impossible, but suffice it to say that he began working in the 1940s and continued as a mainstay of the comic book industry right up until his passing. Best known for his great war comics, including Sgt. Rock and Enemy Ace, Kubert also turned in fantastic work on Hawkman, both in the Golden Age and the Silver Age, as well as titles like Tarzan and literally too many others to mention.

Beyond his unequaled production as a artist and writer, however, his most enduring legacy may be as a teacher and inspiration thanks to The Kubert School, which began training comic books artists and cartoonists beginning in the 1970's. Dozens if not hundreds of pros passed through his courses.

And Kubert's art legacy was also passed down in a much more literal fashion through his sons, Andy and Adam Kubert, who are considered by many fans to be two of the top comic book artists of the past quarter century.

On a personal note, Kubert's death saddens me as I missed his final visit to Boston in 2010 due to a scheduling conflict. I very much wanted to attend so I could speak with him about his work at Lev Gleason alongside Charles Biro and Norman Maurer on Boy Comics. Kubert is the only artist other than Biro to draw a cover for Boy Comics and I wanted to ask him how that came about. Sadly for me, that opportunity is now lost forever.

And sadly for comics, one of the five greatest artists in the history of the medium is gone forever as well.